Hinckley United 2 Boston United 4: Pilgrims show no mercy as they unravel the Knitters

SpencerWeir-Daley netted twice.
SpencerWeir-Daley netted twice.

Spencer Weir-Daley scored twice as Boston United put relegated Hinckley to the sword.

It wasn’t always as comfortable as the scoreline may hint for the Pilgrims.

But as they final whistle blew, it was a case of job done for the away side.

Manager Dennis Greene made five changes to the starting line-up following last week’s 4-0 home drubbing to Bradford Park Avenue.

Ex-Knitters Paul Lister and Ben Fairclough dropped out of the side, along with Gary Silk, Phil Watt and James Reed.

Greg Mills - a midweek capture from Worcester - was handed his debut on the left-hand side.

Nathan Stainfield and Tom Ward rekindled their central defensive partnership, with Connor Marshall joining then on the right-hand side of defence and Anton Foster, back from suspension, taking his place in central midfield.

But it took this new-look United side less than a minute to take the lead.

Spencer Weir-Daley calmly controlled Marc Newsham’s cross on his chest before firing a low strike into the net with just 53 seconds on the clock.

Hickley almost levelled immediately, but Theo Brown’s curling effort was firmly parried away by Boston keeper Dan Haystead, the third of United’s ex-Hinckley players.

With 30 minutes playe, Boston - possibly a little over-confident after their good start - suddenly sprang back to life.

Mills had two golden chances to mark his arrival with a goal.

But after being slipped through on both occasions, he was denied by Ashley Timms and skied his second effort.

Timms then pulled off another top stop to deny Ben Milnes’ 20-yard strike, before a double save kept Weir-Daley at bay.

In response, Roland Agbor tried his luck from distance but saw his finish rattle wide of the post.

After the interval, United began as they had finished the opening 45... with Mills through on goal but firing off target.

And those missed chances looked like they could come back to haunt the Pilgrims as the Knitters levelled on 56 minutes.

Brown tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area, and a deflection took the ball beyond Haystead.

But United responded and Ian Ross soon restored the lead, with his 20-yarder - following Ben Milnes’ corner - giving Timms no chance.

And that lead was extended to 3-1 when Marc Newsham netted his 28th goal of the season, diverting Mills’ low cross at the near post.

Sixty-seven minutes on the clock and game over.

Substitute Charley Sanders almost grabbed United a fourth after neat interplay with Weir-Daley, but his strike was well blocked by the Knitters keeper, using his outstretched leg.

Timms had enjoyed a decent game, but didn’t cover himself in glory after shying out of a tackle with Weir-Daley.

As the ball spilled loose, the forward tapped home his second of the match with 73 minutes played.

Although down, Hinckley refused to give up and Harvey Headley saw a stinging strike fly just over Haystead’s crossbar.

The Boston stopper was then called into action to deny Gavin Hurren’s goalbound effort.

Chipping away finally paid off with two minutes to go as Richard Conway’s close range finish reduced the arrears.

But it was too little too late.

HINCKLEY: Timms, Lane (Chambaud 70), Branch, Headley, Kalonji, Lopez, Agbor (Moraka 77), Hurren, Richards (R. Conway 62), Pickering; Subs (not used): Hartland, M. Conway.

UNITED: Haystead, Marshall, Field (Silk 78), Foster, Ward (Lister 78), Stainfield, Ross, Milnes (Sanders 68), Weir-Daley, Newsham, Mills; Subs (not used): Silk, Lister, Reed, Watt.

Att: 353.

Ref: Guy Stretton.